G’day CityLight Church Glenelg family!
We are a community made up of hundreds of people from all over Adelaide who have a great hope in the person and work of Jesus. We also have a great work from Him in being His ambassadors to our neighbours; embodying and communicating the gospel with our lives and our words.
Right now, gathering hundreds of people together is not going to help us be a good neighbour – Due to the spread of Covid19 we’re being encouraged by medical professionals (both inside the church and outside the church) to help the whole city of Adelaide in flattening the contamination curve by practicing social distancing.
I’m writing to let you know that after significant consultation with experts, discussion, and prayer, the CityLight Elders have decided to pause our Sunday gatherings for the next 2 weeks. Due to our collective endeavour to flatten the curve, it looks likely that we’ll need to extend beyond this time, and we’re committing to reviewing this decision every week moving forward – we’ll keep you updated through DGs, Slack, Facebook, and on the citylight.church website.
Instead of gathering physically together at Byron St, will be live-streaming on YouTube and Facebook, so that we can ‘gather’ in a sense online at 10am each Sunday. I want to encourage you to get your family together, and if healthy perhaps some or all of your DG together to participate in the online gathering (not to just watch, but to participate in singing, scripture reading, learning, and encouraging others)… perhaps you could zoom in with your DG on one device and stream the gathering on another.
We anticipate this will be a temporary situation, and that we’ll return to usual Sunday gatherings at some time in the near future; however, we’re committed to doing what we can to help reduce the burden on our medical infrastructure, and reduce the risk to those most vulnerable among us.
Now, we’re NOT encouraging social isolation – physical distance yes, relational distance no.
We will still gather in our smaller midweek Discipleship Groups in private homes; but even there, we want to practice good hygiene, and if you are sick or live with someone who is sick, please take advantage of technology and connect in via Skype/Zoom/FaceTime/Google hangout. We’ll review these gatherings over the coming weeks also.
This is not in any way a response made out of fear, but out of love for those who are most susceptible to the more severe effects of this virus. Our response as Christians is to always run toward darkness (and bring light), toward danger (and bring hope), toward the vulnerable (and bring help), and toward the lost (and bring love).. In difficult situations, we are to be the first to arrive and the last to leave.
So, here we’re being proactive, not reactive. We want to serve those around us, and one way we can do that well right now is to not hold large gatherings. We’ll still be out there individually, in families, and in smaller groups; serving, loving, bringing help, bringing hope.. in fact, this is one of the reasons Discipleship Groups have been so foundational to CityLight Church from the beginning – we’re not a mass of individual spectators who go to a church service once a week to receive religious goods and services; but the very body of Christ – being salt, being light, being His witnesses, in community, on mission, every day – this is business as usual for us!
In participating in social distancing in Australia we’re also seeing a new group of people affected by the virus – those who are losing/have lost employment opportunities, are struggling with isolation, and those who were already finding it difficult to make ends meet. I want to encourage you to look out for your neighbours; literal neighbours, and those in your community (friends, family, DG members, local business owners & workers, medical staff, etc.) who have relational needs you may be well placed to meet, and financial needs you may be well placed to meet. If you don’t know people struggling financially, but do have financial capacity & would like to help, let us know and we can either get you in touch, or help direct funds to where they’re most needed.
This isn’t a time to reduce generosity, but to increase it. This isn’t a time to operate out of fear, but in the confidence of the Spirit. This isn’t a time to retreat relationally, but to reach out to those who you know well, and those on the fringes. This is (like every day) a time to pray for those affected physically and financially, for medical staff, and for our government. This is a time to trust God, because He is sovereign, and He is good.
If you need help with anything, have any questions, want to pray with someone, or would like to help in some way, please contact your DG leader, or head to citylight.church/connect
We love you heaps, we’ll keep you updated, and we’re looking forward to gathering virtually this Sunday, and to when we can gather in person again!
Don (on behalf of the CityLight Elders)